Saturday, August 8, 2020

Safer at Home Extended - Again

On Wednesday, August 5th (the 76th day of Safer at Home and the 133rd day of overall restrictions) Governor Cooper extended Safer at Home again, this time for an additional 5 weeks. The end coincides with 9/11, which is an interesting choice of dates. It does fall on a Friday, so perhaps it is coincidental. But I would have gone a week shorter or a week longer if I were him. Reportedly the extension is to give the state the opportunity to study data as schools reopen over the next several weeks.

As of yesterday, North Carolina has 133,000 confirmed cases of COVID with 2,160 deaths from the virus. Nationwide the statistics are 4.95 million cases and 161,000 deaths. Worldwide there are 19.3 million confirmed cases and 719,000 deaths. Of course we have no way of knowing if other countries are accurately reporting their numbers. But one thing is certain - this thing is nowhere near contained. Numbers continue to grow and while there is promising news on the vaccine front, we are months if not years away from having an effective preventive shot in place for COVID.

It is hard not to fall into a sense of despair. Every single person has been affected by the pandemic. It is difficult to remain positive when we are in this dark tunnel with no light shining to reassure us there is an end.  This is certainly not the life we envisioned when we retired, packed up our 41 years of life together, and moved to a new state where we didn't have family or friends. Thank goodness we had a good 6 months to enjoy our new neighbors and what this community has to offer all of us!

We know how fortunate we are to live in a beautiful new home with Mountain Island Lake literally in our backyard. Here we have trails to walk, the lake to kayak, and some activities to participate in where we can be outdoors and socially distance. We can play pickleball in small groups, bike the neighborhood, and catch up with neighbors while out walking. But that doesn't mean we don't long for visits with our kids, travel, dining out INSIDE restaurants, and participating in all the clubs and fitness programs we had enjoyed for six months.

To keep our spirits up we keep the news off, unfollow the negative folks on social media, stay away from the conspiracy theorists around us, and spend more time on the phone with family and friends. We carefully evaluate any activity we wish to take part in, understanding that our lives - literally - are in the hands of other people. And sadly, many of those people cannot be trusted to do the right thing. They don't stay home when they feel poorly, don't maintain social distancing, and refuse to wear a mask. They endanger others, claiming mask mandates violate their First Amendment rights. It's interesting that they will abide by the "no shoes, no shirt, no service" or "no smoking" rules, but somehow wearing a mask offends them. 

The end is not in sight, and unfortunately how we get to the end is mostly out of our hands. The only thing we can control is our own behavior and attitude. Like most people, we are doing the best we can. This photo that I took the other night reminds me that while things can look dark and ominous, there is beauty as well if we only look for it.

No comments: